Ever wondered why Pakistan is so marred by an International and National credibility predicament? Well hypocrisy, they say, is the mother of all credibility issues. When we go down in history, this is exactly how we shall be remembered; a hypocrite ensemble. So much, that on a scale of 1 to 100, we are pretty capable of scoring a 101; an additional mark for pulling off a ‘face-palm’ right after we get to know and just before we wink at our toes.
Anything that even remotely resembles criticism of a man-made edict is tantamount to blasphemy but taking jabs at another faith or lashing out litter jokes at anyone else’s deity is quite acceptable. Rituals of own, no matter how irrational, are highly revered, while, castigating perceived absurdity emanating from a ritual outside your realm of belief is admirable.
For us it is alright to slander corrupt politicians while discreetly evading taxes. Veena Malik baring it all is ‘baighairti’ while Mukhtaran Mai’s gang rape is pretty much just that; “lack of evidence”. Aafia’s detention is shameful while Aasia’s death row is… well, just law.
American support of Israelis is duplicity of character while Pakistani support of Taliban is “strategic foresight”. Drone attacks are condemnable while schools churning out religious fanatics are nothing short of “charity organizations”. Transvestites are a symbol of utmost disgust, but cross dressing from ‘Khaki’ to ‘Sherwani’ is well-tolerated.
“Don’t practice what you preach if you’re not the type of person you preach to.”
We go in all praise of Aafia but call Malala a drama and what not against their pious Taliban.
We are, sadly, a nation that is plagued with hypocrisy right down to the bone. We fight for our ideals, culture, and religion, yet we understand none.
What type of a nation are we? We reward hypocrisy at the very least. We have failed to understand the true message of Islam, where the Prophet (PBUH) would readily forgive anyone admitting to their mistakes. We forget how any murder is the equivalent of killing the entire human kind. Most of all, we forget that until proven guilty, everyone is innocent.
Implementing justice cannot lie in the hands of the individual. Fair trials, a chance for explanation and of course a willful acceptance of the crime are all pillars of judgement that are taken into account before a punishment is met. Even in the case of removing ones hand in the event of a robbery, Islamic Law states that the circumstances surrounding the reason for robbery should be investigated. This is how humane and passionate Islam is. But we have clearly forgotten.
In Lahore, right next to the Badshahi Mosque, we have a den of prostitution that has resided there forever. Its open acceptance as a part of Lahore, and our “old” culture strikes me as disgusting. For God’s sake, right next to a mosque! Where are all our fanatics now? Everyone knows about it, yet we are all silent. Is prostitution not a form of blasphemy?
But let’s not look too far, and focus on our own lives. Our advertising, our billboards, our TV shows, even our attitude, they are all very far away from the concept of Islam. We are a nation that readily accepts profanity on TV, and online, yet , when it comes to extremism, and extreme thoughts, we keep our mouths shut. Why do we not speak out against something that is clearly wrong?
The problem with us is that we have made a criteria for sins. There are big sins, and then there are small sins. Big sins are drinking alcohol, smoking pot, blasphemy and so forth. Smalls sins are saying bad words, talking behind people’s back, and everything else that we do all day long. Yet, people forget that back-biting (or gossip in our eyes), is worse than eating your dead brothers flesh. The thing is that we do it all day, so it must be OK right? WRONG.
We evaluate sins on a level based on our frequency of doing them. If there is a sin we just cannot walk away from (gossip), then it must be slightly OK. But sins that we do not actively participate in, due to availability mostly, or lack of interest, they are on the top of the list. I do not think any sin can supersede back-biting, given the way it has been described in the Quran. But, unfortunately, we rarely see a rally against it. And if people were so serious about it, all media channels would have closed down by now.
We are selective in the way we handle Islam. We are hypocritical about our stances on religion. We do what is easy. And that must change.
Hypocrisy has been the case since forever and now is the national trait of Pakistanis. In fact, the hypocritical conundrum that we find ourselves is so complex, it has become a part of the Pakistani culture.
This time it is Veena Malik, last time it was Meera. Before we get to Veena Malik, let’s refresh our memories as to why Meera so suddenly shot to fame in 2005.
Meera went to India, and did a B grade movie in which she kissed a Hindu man. Open gaping mouth? How dare a Muslim woman kiss a Hindu man you ask? How dare she kiss him on TV? Meera’s case study presents us with certain parameters which will come in handy when we dissect Veena Malik’s case. So let’s look at some of these fascinating points.
Meera angered all Muslims including yours truly. She did what she did. She was abused, fun was poked at her, and well the world moved on. No one questioned her Pakistaniyat; well I don’t remember anyone doing that anyway.
Which brings us to Veena Malik. She too went to India and flirted and did other dirty, skanky stuff with an Indian Hindu man. Very bad you say. She brought dishonor and disrespect to herself, her parents and generally all those women who claim to have a bit of self-respect. She brought a bad name to Islam. Veena wasn’t ashamed of her antics as a Muslim, she wasn’t sorry and for all intents and purposes she will do the same thing again.
The hypocrites of Pakistan lost me when they said she brought dishonor to Pakistan. How did she do that? Does the declaration that she brought shame on Pakistan define how Pakistanis are supposed to behave? Who anointed these self-eulogizing dimwits the caretakers of morality in Pakistan? And who decides what a Pakistani is or isn’t? For all intents and purposes, Veena Malik did a great service to her country. She showed the world exactly what it wanted to see: That Pakistani women are more than just burqas and shawls and captivity.
Those people who have gotten on Veena Malik’s case because she shamed Pakistan and Pakistanis are the biggest hypocrites of this country. They all watch Indian soap operas, and Indian movies. They all go dreamy eyed when they see Katrina Kaif shaking to the tune of ‘Sheila ki Jawani’. These shameless hypocrites who act as if they are the upholders of morality are the same people who rape women for pleasure and fun. Where does their morality go then? For a walk amongst the trees of Changa Manga? Or are they after Veena Malik because they couldn’t digest the fact that a Pakistani woman could do what the Pakistani men are notoriously famous for and that too on Indian television?
I disagree with Veena Malik because my religion does not allow the behavior exhibited by Veena Malik. But as a Pakistani, I have nothing to say to Veena Malik. She did what she thought was right. That does not mean she ruined Pakistan’s image. She would’ve ruined the image if she had murdered someone in front of a camera, or blown herself, or threatened to kill someone because the other person disagreed with her. No one can tell what being a Pakistani is. This is the same country that mourns the loss of Black Label Whiskey when it goes short, and this is the same country where men and women get together and do stuff that you only see in R rated movies. So really, the hypocrites need to put their own houses in order before you know, calling Veena Malik ‘beghairat’ (immoral).
Be patient with people, learn to fix yourself before you try to fix others, practice what you preach. Otherwise, keep quiet.